Rosa M. Cabrera : DIrector

Rosa M. Cabrera


Dr. Rosa M. Cabrera became the director of the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at UIC in the spring of 2011. She earned her Doctorate in Anthropology and Bachelor of Arts in Design from UIC. For ten years she directed The Field Museum’s "Cultural Connections" program, a partnership of more than 25 ethnic museums and cultural centers in Chicago that formed the Chicago Cultural Alliance in 2006 under her leadership.

Cabrera has taught anthropology and social justice courses for teachers, community leaders and college students, and has talked extensively on the role of ethnic museums and cultural centers in shaping community identity–which was the topic of her dissertation.  She has collaborated with the museum community in national projects such as the "Immigration Sites of Conscience Network," the "National Diversity Education Program," and the "Race: Are We So Different? Project" to increase public dialogue on pressing contemporary issues, while exploring the interplay between diversity and democracy.

Prior to coming to UIC, she led a research team in a project with the Pilsen neighborhood’s Mexican and Mexican American community and the West Ridge’s South Asian community to better understand how cultural values and traditions impact residents’ understanding and practice of eco-friendly activities. She is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and Museum and Exhibition Studies.

Cabrera is a 1.5 generation immigrant from Cuba who arrived with her mother in Chicago during a grey, snowy day in the 1970’s. She calls Chicago home and loves its parks, ‘L’ (elevated train), magnificent museums, diverse neighborhoods and people.

Mario A. Lucero : Assistant Director

Mario A. Lucero

Assistant Director

Mario A. Lucero became the Assistant Director of the UIC Latino Cultural Center (LCC) in the fall of 2013. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg, and received his Master's in Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) from UIC. During his Master’s at UIC (Fall 2011 to Spring 2013), he was a Teaching Assistant for the LALS Program, and the Graduate Assistant and Graphic Designer for the LCC.

On campus, he develops public programs and engages students in dialogue through the arts to create cultural responses to social conditions. He is currently collaborating with the UIC Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change through the Reimagining Masculinity Initiative, which explores issues of masculinity, privilege, and intersecting identities through storytelling and candid dialogue.

Mario has instructed High School Completion courses in Spanish at Triton College since 2009, and has organized with grassroots community organizations addressing emerging issues at the intersection of immigration since 2011.

Mario is a second-generation Latino with three younger sisters and immigrant parents from the Mexican states of Durango and Chihuahua. He lives in Oak Park with his wife, Cynthia, and two daughters, Jocelyn and Marlene. On the weekends, he enjoys cycling with friends, spending quality time with family, and playing soccer and tennis.

Edith Tovar : Program Coordinator

Edith Tovar

Program Coordinator

Edith Tovar was born and raised in Chicago’s Little Village Community.  As a first generation Mexican-American, she grew up with close ties to her Mexican heritage.  As a teenager she was part of a traditional folkloric dance group where she learned how to "zapatear," but most importantly she learned the meanings behind all the colorful and cheerful movements of a Mexican traditional dance.

Being the youngest of four, she was the second in her family to graduate from a university. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish-Economics with a minor in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Further, in January of 2011, Edith was employed as a Student Worker at the Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at UIC.  Since then, her position has changed to Program Coordinator where she continues to work with UIC students by enhancing their knowledge and appreciation for Latino cultures through various program initiatives.

Paula Bui : Program Coordinator

Paula Bui

Program Coordinator

Paula Bui is a Program Coordinator, with a focus on the Civic Cinema programming series, at the UIC Latino Cultural Center. As a first-generation mixed person, she is constantly digging through her roots to figure out and explore her own cultural identity. Her work background includes programming around social justice and contemporary issues in Chicago's neighborhoods. She is interested in feminism, environmental sustainability, radical love, and how to work less and live more.

Paula is passionate about leading yoga classes that are accessible for all bodies as well as AcroYoga classes in Chicago. When she isn't upside down she is also serving as an Interpreter for community organizations or baking delicious vegan sweets. She earned a BA at Loyola University Chicago but is dedicated to being a life-long student in more ways than one.